The Viridian C Series: A Comprehensive Comparison - New vs. Original

zoomed handgun pointing with Viridian CTL mounted on light turned on in
  action view to the left and background repeated in vertical way black and
  white pointing to the floor

The Viridian C Series: A Comprehensive Comparison - New vs. Original

When it comes to personal protection and enhancing shooting accuracy, firearm accessories play a crucial role. Among these accessories, laser sights and tactical lights provide a significant advantage in low-light conditions and quick target acquisition situations. Launched in 2010, the C5L green laser and light combo revolutionized the firearm accessory landscape. It was the first compact green laser and light available and helped to put Viridian on the map as a major industry player. 13 years later, Viridian has done it again by reintroducing the C Series line. Let's compare the two flagship products from Viridian Weapon Technologies - the New C5L and the original C5L to help firearm enthusiasts make an informed decision based on their individual needs.

1. Design & Size:

The first noticeable difference between the two products lies in their design and size. The New C5L is designed to be versatile and compatible with a wide range of firearms. Its form factor allows it to be mounted on both compact and full-sized handguns. Slightly larger than the Original C5L, the new version brings the laser directly under the pistol's barrel, helping to prevent parallax issues. The laser is also housed directly INSIDE the LED light, keeping things nice and compact. While a slightly larger size may feel like a step backwards, it is a very small price to pay as it allows the new C5L to have exponentially greater performance compared to the original C5L.

C5L 2.56" (L) X 1.9" (W)X 1.37" (H) NEW C5L

2. Light Output & Laser Performance:

In terms of light output, the New C5L boasts an impressive 650 Lumens, 55,000 Candela (High) tactical light, which can effectively illuminate virtually any target and surroundings in low-light environments. The New C5L features a very bright hot spot with a nice outside halo to help eliminate tunnel vision. The Original C5L, while still providing ample light with 140 lumens, may not be as bright as its counterpart, but it compensates for it by being slightly more compact.

Both products feature a <5mW , 515-532nm green laser which is the strongest laser legally allowable to own. The laser sight on both models offers reliable performance and excellent visibility in various lighting conditions, which is essential for self-defense and shooting accuracy, and extremely more visible than red lasers. Don't forget - Viridian invented green lasers for handguns!

chart comparison of Laser, lumen, Size, Weight, Battery, SAFECharge Power

3. Activation & Modes:

Viridian has equipped both the New C5L and the Original C5L with multiple modes to suit different preferences and situations. Modes on both models include: laser only, light only, laser and light, and strobing light. Once the preferred mode is chosen and the device is turned off, the unit will remember that chosen mode the next time it is activated. Both units also boast the legendary patented INSTANT-ON technology. INSTANT-ON activates the accessory the moment it is drawn from the holster in the last mode it was set to.

C5L INSTANT ON FINAL background white

4. Battery Life & Power Supply:

Battery life is a critical factor, especially in life-threatening situations where one's firearm accessories must perform flawlessly. The New C5L and the Original C5L come with different power sources which greatly impact battery life.

The New C5L features an internal rechargeable battery with magnetic recharge connection. Rechargeable batteries are now ubiquitous in our world and have many advantages over traditional lithium cell batteries. Rechargeable batteries can handle higher power demands, resulting in brighter illumination and longer run times. Moreover, they are not confined to a cylindrical shape and can be designed in various forms, enabling the use of higher capacity batteries in a smaller space, ensuring efficient usage. Additionally, rechargeable batteries recover quickly from intermittent use, which is especially crucial for weapon-mounted lights and lasers, frequently employed in short bursts.

An internal rechargeable battery, however, cannot be quickly replaced or swapped. To help reduce the impact of this issue, every New C5L comes with a SAFECharge backup power supply.

Viridian’s new SAFECharge system power supply is the ultra-convenient rechargeable power source that ensures your Viridian accessory is ready when you are. Simply place the Viridian accessory near the SAFECharge and attach the magnetic charging connector. The SAFECharge will automatically wake up, charge the Viridian accessory, and shut off when full, staying dormant until it is needed again. This allows the Viridian accessory to be charged wherever it is convenient without the need to unplug it after charging is complete, ensuring maximum battery longevity. Whenever. Wherever. Forever ready.

The Original C5L utilizes a CR2 3v lithium battery. CR2 3v lithium batteries offer advantages like small size and specialized use, but their limited capacity, higher cost per energy, and restricted compatibility with devices could pose drawbacks. Additionally, concerns about environmental impact, shorter lifespan in high-drain devices, and potential leakage underscore the need for careful consideration when opting for CR2 batteries.

5. Compatibility:

Both the New C5L and the original C5L offer broad compatibility with the world's most popular pistols equipped with accessory rails. However, everyone should double-check the compatibility of their specific firearm to ensure that the laser sight and tactical light combo will fit properly and safely always remember to follow the local, state, and federal laws related to firearms, and ensure you are legally permitted to own or operate the models you are interested in.


  • P320
  • P226 MK25 (used by the U.S. Navy SEALs)
  • P229
  • P365 XL
  • M17/M18 (U.S. Military)
  • P220

Sig Sauer

  • P320
  • P226 MK25 (used by the U.S. Navy SEALs)
  • P229
  • P365 XL
  • M17/M18 (U.S. Military)
  • P220

Springfield Armory

  • XD-M Elite
  • XD-S Mod.2 OSP
  • Hellcat & Hellcat PRO OSP
  • 1911 TRP Operator
  • 1911 Range Officer Elite Operator


  • PPQ M2
  • PDP (Performance Duty Pistol)
  • PPQ 45
  • Q5 Match Steel Frame


  • SR1911
  • Security-9
  • American Pistol
  • Ruger-57
  • PC Carbine


  • G3
  • TX22
  • G3C
  • G2C
  • TH9

Heckler & Koch

  • VP9
  • P30/P30L
  • HK45
  • USP and USP Compact
  • HK416

Smith & Wesson

  • M&P9 M2.0
  • M&P Shield EZ
  • M&P15-22 Sport
  • M&P Bodyguard 380
  • SD9 VE and SD40 VE


6. Price & Value:

Everyone wants to get a good value when buying something. 13 years ago, the Original C5L hit the market with a suggested retail price of $349. Viridian held that price for the past 13 years. Due to technological advancements and other factors, the New C5L's price has been significantly decreased while the overall quality and performance has increased. The New C5L's suggested retail price is $229.

The original C5L still maintains its place as a choice in the marketplace for a laser and light combo but the New C5L has a much greater value.


In conclusion, both the Viridian New C5L and the Original C5L are excellent firearm accessories, offering reliable laser sighting and tactical illumination. The choice between the two can depend on individual preferences, firearm type, and planned usage scenarios. When looking at the whole picture, the New C5L is the clear quality, feature, and value winner.

Regardless of the chosen model, incorporating a laser sight and tactical light from Viridian Weapon Technologies can significantly enhance a shooter's performance and provide added peace of mind during low-light encounters. Remember, always practice safe firearm handling and consult local laws and regulations regarding the use of firearm accessories.











Published at: 09-14-2023


    No Comments yet. be the first to comment.